Top 10 Tips to Get a Listing Photo-Ready

They say that great photos can sell a property, and if you want your listing to look great, you’ve got to be prepared. Before you schedule a photo session, you’ll want to make sure you’ve prepared the property and your photographer for success.

Howard Hanna has compiled a list of recommendations to make sure that your listing photos come out flawlessly. Before your next photo session, make sure that you:

  1. Get the property squeaky clean: High-resolution photos show everything – dust and all! Make sure you’ve wiped down the countertops and mirrors throughout the property. You’ll also want to vacuum the floors and dust the furnishings before shooting.
  2. Freshen up the landscape: Overgrown grass and shaggy hedges can make a property look neglected. Make sure you’ve had a landscaping team mow the lawn and remove any dead plants or limbs around the property. In lieu of hiring a landscaping team, many homeowners will opt to clean up their lawns themselves to save money. Just make sure the landscape cleanup happens the day before the shoot.
  3. Pare down the closets: Sellers love to see clean, well-organized storage spaces. Crowded or overstuffed closets should be avoided at all costs. Help buyers imagine their belongings in the listing by keeping shelves sparse and organized.
  4. Rearrange the furniture: Arranging furniture can be a balancing act – you don’t want the listing to look empty, but you also don’t want it to look crowded. Try to maximize the space by making sure furniture isn’t pushed up against the wall when possible. Aim to keep at least 18 inches between each piece of furniture to make rooms feel spacious.
  5. Amp up the lighting: Even with perfect weather, your photographer will need help from your indoor lighting. Replace any weak or burnt-out bulbs, and make sure that you use the same type of bulbs in each room. You want to aim for even lighting throughout the property.
  6. Make a plan for any pets: If your sellers have pets, make sure the animals are crated or out of the house during the photo shoot. This way, the photographer won’t have to wrangle an excited pup or stressed-out cat while they’re photographing the listing.
  7. Choose a storage space: Many sellers will need to store their extra furniture and belongings somewhere during the shoot. Decide what room these items will go in, and make sure the photographer knows not to shoot this room.
  8. Check the weather: This might go against your instincts, but try to schedule your photoshoots on cloudy days. Overcast skies can help distribute the light more evenly around the property, helping you avoid harsh shadows and glares. And if possible, try to schedule your shoot during the morning. Early light shows up beautifully in photos and can reduce the risk of shadows.
  9. Keep the driveway clear: Make sure any garbage cans are out of sight and keep the driveway clear of cars. Having cars in the driveway can obstruct the view of the house, so ask your sellers to move their cars before the photographer arrives. You also never want garbage cans to be the focal point of your listing. Ask your clients when trash day is, and make sure to choose another day.
  10. Remove clutter: Crowded or over-decorated spaces can turn off buyers and make it hard for them to imagine living in the property. Keep kitchen countertops clear of appliances and pack away any family photos. Aim to only keep the essentials, removing remove any extra chairs, knick-knacks and decorations.

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